Khan Academy: The Future of Education

Education for most people around the world is not free.

It actually costs money – and a lot of it.

I’m not going to delve into the numbers too much (as they vary according to country and grade level), however picture this for a moment…

The cost of raising a child alone (form birth to age 17) is approximately $182,857.

17% of that is child education = $31,085.69. If education costs money, it becomes an expense – and essentially schools become a business, and a business’ responsibility is to cater to the bottom line – profit.

Education = Expense
Schools = Business
Education = Profit

In today’s consolidating economy, people are getting paid less to do more, yet the cost of education continues to rise at an average rate of 6% annually.

If a parent’s income suffers in any way, they’re forced to make a very tough decision – one that may force them to pull their child out Read more…

The Brand that Keeps on Giving: Why Starbucks is #1 on the Net

I feel a sense of irony sitting here at my local Starbucks drinking my skinny vanilla latte, writing about why Starbucks is at the top. But honestly, it’s where I go to write all my articles.

So…Why Starbucks?

Being in a Starbucks makes me feel good.

Be it the fresh “fair trade” coffee served in a recycled cup telling me that I’m a “pioneer” for using it. My cup holder letting me know that it’s also made of recycled materials. The napkin informing me that Starbucks doesn’t use trans fats, artificial flavours or high-fructose corn syrups in my brown bagel.

I feel very socially responsible buying coffee from Starbucks.

However, I’m at the end of the line…Starbucks’ goodness actually begins with their mission statement.

“We’ve always believed that businesses can – and should – have a positive impact on the communities they serve. So ever since we opened our first store in 1971, we dedicated ourselves Read more…

“Tag Your Green” – GE’s Ecomagination Project

Corporations…they’re evil right?

Maybe you’ve seen the 2003 documentary “The Corporation”, maybe you haven’t but maybe you should.

What you do need to know though is that there are a lot of corporations who do operate with a blatant disregard for our society and our environment.

Yes, the environment belongs to you!

However, these days, things are starting to shift. More companies are trending towards being “green” and being more “socially responsible” and, for the most part, their intentions are good (with a little bit of business thrown in there of course).

CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) is about how companies manage the business processes to produce an overall positive impact on society.

One Corporation who’s starting to lead in a more socially responsible way is General Electric (GE).

About 5 years ago, they launched their CSR initiative called Ecomagination.

Ecomagination is GE’s commitment to imagine and build innovative solutions to today’s environmental challenges while driving economic growth.

It’s a Read more…

ONE: We’re not asking for your money, we’re asking for your voice

In a world where nearly everything costs something, it’s nice to take comfort in the fact that we all have a valuable resource to offer that doesn’t come with a price tag – our voices.

That’s the objective of ONE, a grassroots anti-poverty advocacy organization that works to increase public awareness of poverty and places pressure on political leaders to work towards poverty alleviation.

They’re not soliciting funds, they’re soliciting support.

In the beginning

ONE is an organization that has been in the making since 2002.

The concept itself began when Bono [front man for world renowned band U2], along with Bob Geldof, Bobby Shriver, Jamie Drummond and Lucy Matthew got together and decided to start up advocacy organization DATA (debt, AIDS, trade, Africa).

Shortly after, ONE was born as a means of creating a broader campaign to mobilize public support to fight against poverty and raise global health awareness. By 2008, it was concluded Read more…

UNICEF: Getting Children Climate Ready

What does climate change mean to you? In the UK it often feels like a series of scientific debates and middle class people wondering if we’ll have a thriving wine industry in 30 years.

For many children in the developing world, though, it means destruction, death, poverty and no chance to go to school. Climate change is happening now and it is the most vulnerable children in countries not responsible for messing with our climate that are paying the price.

UNICEF – Climate kid shows you how children will have to adapt if we do nothing.

The World’s governments know all about the challenge of climate change. At the Copenhagen climate conference in 2009 developed countries promised to raise an extra $100 billion a year by 2020 for developing countries for climate change. This money is to be evenly split between trying to prevent further rises in global temperatures and helping to adapt Read more…

Amex Launches Facebook “Friends of Japan,” Supporting Earthquake Victims

The earthquake in Japan occurred months ago, but there are still many areas of the country that need support. Last month, American Express set out to reignite attention and support for the relief efforts by launching “Friends of Japan,” its first-ever global social media program on Facebook.

Friends of Japan is a social, word-of-mouth campaign that builds upon previous contributions and fundraising activities by Amex since the disaster struck.

The campaign encourages people from around the world to share messages of hope through the Amex Facebook page (facebook.com/americanexpressjapan). Visitors from around the world will receive a customized experience based on their location, as the “Friends of Japan” area on the page will be translated into Chinese, English, French, German, Korean, Portuguese and Spanish.

Visitors can select one of four messages or create their own messages of hope for Japan, in the form of a virtual postcard. American Express will donate $1 for every Read more…

Sparked.com: Online Volunteering for Busy People (like you)

Oh the irony.

I have been feeling a little guilty that I just haven’t had time to work on my next TheSociallyConsciousBlog article. Things have gotten so busy lately. I was looking around our TSCB website bank, searching for inspiration and riddled with guilt when I decided to randomly click on a link. Low and behold I should land on Sparked.com – the “easy, social, online volunteering for busy people.”

I think it’s a sign.

Of course I’m not the only one who is busy. 73% of Americans (and about the same for Canadians) don’t volunteer and cite lack of time as the major reason. Sparked makes it easy for skilled professionals to help nonprofits get valuable work done, in a time frame that fits in with the demands of a full-time job. Sparked is labeled as the world’s first micro-volunteering network.

What is micro-volunteering you ask?

Well one of Sparked’s co-founders, Ben Rigby Read more…

The first step: Awareness (Journalists for Human Rights)

All around the world, journalists provide the population with accurate knowledge and information about current events.  It is important that the reporting is unbiased and the story is told from all sides of the conflict or situation; therefore, allowing the audience to form their own conclusions and opinion.

This is good journalism.

However, not all countries have the same ability or understanding of what journalism should entail.  Many nations’ media platforms are controlled by their government.  Consequently, only government approved material is broadcasted.  This seriously hinders the possibility of population to be able to shape their own views.

Paul Kagame has been the president of Rwanda since 2000.  Some sources say that Rwanda has been the largest success story within Africa under his guidance.  However, all media sources in Rwanda are held to strict guidelines.  The media limitations were put in affect following the 1994 Rwandan genocide.

The objective of the guidelines is Read more…